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Thursday, December 8, 2016

New polling shows that the public is increasingly unhappy with both the president and Congress, but is clearly in support of two things: compromise and implementing Obamacare.

President Obama’s approval rating is at a two-year low that nearly matches the trough he hit after the last time Republicans staged a standoff over the debt limit, according to a new New York Times/CBS poll. Only 43 percent of Americans approve of the way President Obama is doing his job, but that’s more than double than the percentage that backs House Republicans, at 21 percent.

A startling 7 out of 10 Americans polled said the House GOP is not trying to work with the president. A small majority say the president is seeking compromise with Republicans in Congress.

Though a slight majority of Americans still disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, 56 percent say that Congress should uphold the law. The president also leads the Republicans by 5 percent when it comes to the question, “Who do you trust more to make the right decisions on health care?”

By an 11 percent margin, those polled would blame Republicans for a government shutdown, with a whopping 80 percent saying threatening a shutdown is “not an acceptable way to negotiate.”

Polling also explains why Republican leaders in Congress are eager to keep the government open and move the debate to the much more dangerous subject of the debt ceiling. Only 17 percent want the debt limit raised without conditions, while 55 percent support the position that it should be raised with spending cuts.

A Bloomberg News poll shows that 61 percent say “it’s right to require spending cuts when the debt ceiling is raised even if it risks default.”

This looks to be bad news for the president, who has vowed not to negotiate over the debt limit because such a precedent threatens America’s full faith and credit in perpetuity.

However, Republicans may not only be demanding spending cuts in exchange for suspending the debt limit. A leaked document suggests they want more than a dozen things, including a one-year Obamacare delay, the Keystone Pipeline, tort reform and maybe even a partial-birth abortion ban. New York magazine sums up this wish list succinctly as the “Romney Plan.”

America’s growing urge toward compromise can also be witnessed in a new Gallup poll showing that Tea Party support has fallen to a record low of only 22 percent, just a hair above Republicans in Congress. Notably, another recent poll showed only Tea Partiers support a government shutdown in order to defund Obamacare.

Photo: RepublicanConference via Flickr.com

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